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Technical Reports: CMU-CyLab-13-007

Title:"It’s Hidden in My Computer": Exploring Account Management Tools and Behaviors
Authors:Eiji Hayashi and Jason I. Hong
Publication Date:July 8, 2013


A great deal of past work has investigated passwords in terms of the number of passwords users have, the way people generate passwords, the security of these passwords, and better ways to create passwords that were secure and memorable. However, little work has examined how people manage these passwords in the wild. In this paper, we report results of interviews we conducted with 22 people probing how people manage their passwords and other account information using password management tools, which range from a piece of paper containing one’s passwords to applications specifically designed to manage account information. Through analyses of data, we found that majority of participants were using password management tools as backups and still tried to memorize passwords, and that having sense of control was of great importance for them in using password management tools. Furthermore, we identified features that could be implemented in password management applications to better satisfy users' needs.

Full Report: CMU-CyLab-13-007